What is Culture For?

How to find compassion, hope and perspective in the arts.

Our societies frequently proclaim their enormous esteem for culture. Music, film, literature and the visual arts enjoy high prestige and are viewed by many as getting close to the meaning of life. But what is culture really for?

This book proposes that works of culture were all made, in one way or another, with the idea of improving the way we live. The book connects a range of cultural masterpieces with our own dilemmas and pains around love, work and society, and invites us to see culture as a resource with which to address the complex agonies of being human. It provides us with enduring keys to unlocking culture as a way of transforming our lives.

'Great works of culture were all made, in one way or another, with the idea of changing lives.'

'The power of culture arguably best emerges when we rely on it as a therapeutic tool that can be used in a quest to grow somewhat less isolated, frightened, shamed, restricted or skittish.'

'By interacting with art, we encounter the spirit or voice of someone who profoundly sympathises with suffering, but who allows us to sense that through it, we’re connecting with something universal and unashamed.'

Chapters Include:

  • Companionship
  • Hope
  • Balance
  • Compassion
  • Knowledge
  • Encouragement
  • Appreciation
  • Perspective

Read an extract of this book

This book is also available as an e-book: Kindle edition | Kobo edition

Hardback book | 118 x 110 mm | 110 pp

What is Culture For?

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